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Canada Elections commissioner reviewing complaints related to foreign interference


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Shawn Tupper, Deputy Minister of the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness waits to appear as a witness at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (PROC) regarding foreign election interference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby

Ottawa (CP) – The commissioner of Canada Elections says her office is reviewing past complaints related to foreign interference following recent media reports that allege China tried to meddle in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.

Caroline Simard says her office received 158 complaints related to foreign interference in the 2019 election, and 16 complaints during the 2021 election.

It is not clear if any of those complaints were found to be actual cases of foreign interference.

She says two more complaints have been brought to her office since she last testified at the procedure and House affairs committee in November.

Simard is back at the committee today, saying she is not able to provide further comment about the investigation in order to protect its integrity.

Her office can also work with CSIS and the RCMP, and Simard does have the power under the Criminal Code to bring charges forward if there is evidence that an offence occurred.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2023.

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